Worldwide PC shipments declined 5% in last quarter of 2021: Gartner
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Worldwide PC shipments declined 5% in last quarter of 2021: Gartner

Worldwide PC shipments declined 5% in last quarter of 2021: Gartner

The top three vendors in the worldwide PC market remained unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2021, with Lenovo maintaining the top spot in shipments

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Worldwide PC shipments totaled 88.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2021, a 5 per cent decrease from the fourth quarter of 2020, according to preliminary results by Gartner.

“A sharp decline in the US PC market, caused by ongoing supply chain issues and the collapse in demand for Chromebooks, drove this quarter’s slowdown,” said Mikako Kitagawa, research director at Gartner. “This likely signifies the end of the massive and unexpected growth in PC demand triggered by the pandemic.

“However, the fourth quarter’s decline only slightly tempered the PC market’s growth in 2021, which saw the highest shipment volume since 2013. During the pandemic, shipment growth has been supported by an average selling price (ASP) hike, resulting in higher revenues and a healthier market overall. As a result, annual PC shipment volumes are not expected to decline to pre-pandemic levels for at least 2-3 years.”

The top three vendors in the worldwide PC market remained unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2021, with Lenovo maintaining the top spot in shipments.

Lenovo’s worldwide PC shipments fell nearly 12 per cent quartering the fourth quarter of 2021, the first period of year-over-year decline for the company since the first quarter of 2020. This decline was due to the slowed US market, weak Chromebook demand and supply chain issues, which impeded Lenovo’s ability to supply PCs to enterprise customers. These factors also contributed to HP’s 4 per cent year-over-year decline; however, HP’s decline was tempered by robust growth in the Asia Pacific market.

Dell gained market share this period after notching a fifth consecutive quarter of growth. Shipment volume exceeded 17 million units for the first time in the company’s history, led by strong performance in Latin America, EMEA and Asia Pacific.

The US PC market saw its second consecutive quarter of double-digit decline during the fourth quarter of 2021, with shipments declining 24.2 per cent year-over-year. This decrease was largely driven by weak Chromebook shipments as demand from educational institutions continued to slow. While US business PC sales were generally strong due to the recovering economy and the reopening of offices, supply chain delays impacted shipment volumes, especially in the large enterprise market. The holiday season also saw weaker PC sales than in 2020 due to modest consumer demand.

Dell secured the top spot in the US PC market based on shipments with 28.5 per cent market share. HP followed with 25.9 per cent of the US PC market share.

The EMEA PC market grew 7.4 per cent year-over-year, reaching 26 million units, the highest volume in five years. This growth was led by business PC demand associated with increasing economic and social recovery, as many businesses, schools and universities began to return to in-person operations.

Excluding Japan, the Asia Pacific market grew by 11.5 per cent year-over-year. The mobile PC market was particularly strong in the region, as many private enterprises pre-ordered extra mobile PCs in anticipation of potential market shortages.

Worldwide PC shipments totaled 339.8 million units in 2021, a 9.9 per cent increase from 2020.

After a long period of decline and occasional modest growth, the pandemic revived the PC industry, as evidenced by 2021’s continued strong growth. Gartner expects PC demand to slow for at least the next two years, but annual shipment volumes are not expected to decline to pre-pandemic levels in that period.

“The pandemic significantly changed business and consumer PC user behavior, as people had to adopt to new ways of working and living,” said Kitagawa. “Post-pandemic, some of the newly established ways of using PCs will remain regular practice, such as remote or hybrid workstyles, taking online courses and communicating with friends and family online.”

Read: 50% of the top 10 auto OEMs to design their own chips by 2025: Gartner

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